In a first of its kind decision, the ‘Panj Pyaras’ (five beloved ones of the guru) on Wednesday summoned Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh before the supreme temporal authority of Sikhs for his role in ‘pardoning’ Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
He, along with the other jathedars have been directed to appear before the Akal Takht on October 23 at 10 am.
The others summoned include Takht Keshgarh Sahib jathedar Giani Mal Singh, Takht Damdama Sahib acting jathedar Giani Gurbaksh Singh, Takht Patna Sahib jathedar Giani Iqbal Singh and ‘granthi’ (priest) Ram Singh of Takht Hazoor Sahib in Nanded, Maharashtra. The four along with Giani Gurbachan Singh had taken the decision to exonerate the dera head in 2007 blasphemy case that had hurt the Sikh sentiments.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the ‘Panj Pyaras’, who perform the ‘amrit sanchar’ (baptisim ceremony) at the Akal Takht. Those who took part in the meeting, included Giani Satnam Singh, Giani Tirlok Singh, Giani Mangal Singh and Giani Major Singh.
The jathedars will be questioned on the manner in which they took the decision to ‘pardon’ the dera head, who was forgiven on the bases of a letter addressed to him.
The jathedars came under sharp criticism from the Sikh community as a person seeking pardon must physically appear before the Akal Takht.
The pardon decision was later withdrawn by the Akal Takht following pressure from the Sikh community.